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The Daily Rundown

News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.

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Lapid 12, Israel 9, United States 9, Us 7, Washington 6, U.s. 5, Lyrica 5, Brennan 3, Msnbc 3, Letterman 3, Paul Ryan 3, Chicago 3, Steve King 3, John Brennan 3, Chuck Hagel 3, Karl Rove 3, Obama Administration 3, Arkansas 2, New York 2, Geico 2,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    News/Business. NBC's Chief White House correspondent  
   Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories. New.  

    February 5, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am PST  

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now they're getting responses. >> will you invite me? >> mika, what have you learned on national pancake day? >> people are tweeting me saying that you, john meacham, remind them of ruben kinkade on the partridge family with faces that you are making. very good. >> i like that. >> meacham, i mean ruben. >> that's pretty good. >> what did you learn? >> i learned -- that's disturbing. i learned that. but jeffrey frank's "ike & dick" excellent book about one of the most interesting relationships in american politics. >> i learned people that work on this show are magic.
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if food gets mentioned within the first hour of the show, it appears magically by the last few seconds. >> what have you learned? >> it's national pancake day. >> stop. it's not worth it. >> seconds. >> pat ridge family. >> come on, get happy. >> if it's way too early, it's "morning joe." now it's time for chuck todd "the daily rundown." confidential killing. an nbc news exclusive. a justice department memo says the government can kill americans believed to be top al qaeda leaders, even if there's no active plot to attack the united states. this controversial document also has new details on the legal justification behind more drone strikes against al qaeda subjects. red rover, karl rove's new push to score some winners is getting pushback from powerful conservative groups. this morning, a debate between
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one of rove's point men and one of his top critics. and who do you know? and do you know who this guy is? you should. he just might be the most powerful person in israeli politics not named netanyahu right now. find out what an unexpected power surge from the center could mean for u.s. hopes for mideast peace. good morning from washington. it's tuesday, february 5th, 2013. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. let's get to my first reads. president obama's state of the union address is just a week from today and the president is flooding the zone. worried the federal budget could dominate and limit his agenda this year. he's pushing other issues. he's talking guns one day, immigration the next. making sure he's not drawn into a standoff with republicans over the economy which would quickly come to define his second term. today, he makes the case on immigration to business leaders, including ceos like steve case and monica lozano from his now
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disbanded jobs council and chief executives of coca-cola and yahoo!. he also meets with labor and progressive leaders. the meetings will focus on how immigration reform fits into his broader economic agenda. homeland security secretary janet napolitano on monday brought that message to border security operations near san diego. >> our immigration system has been broken for far too long. time to fix it has come. time is of the essence. i believe the border is secure. i believe the border is a safe border. that's not to say that everything is 100%. >> today napolitano will visit the border in el paso, texas. the white house from the white house is immigration reform. yesterday the subject was guns with police officers behind him. the president called on congress to act. but then seemed to lower expectations for what will count in his head as a win.
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>> we don't have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something. it's really important for us to engage with folks who don't agree with us on everything because we hope that we can find some areas where we do agree. there won't be perfect solutions. no law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. if there's even one thing we can do -- if there's even one thing we can dork just one step we can take, we've got an obligation to take that step. we've got an obligation. >> that one thing may be background checks. while the president said only that an assault weapons ban deserves a vote in congress, he called for a measure on universal background checks to be passed quickly. >> we know, for example, from polling that universal background checks are universally supported just about by gun owners. so if we've got lobbyists in
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washington claiming to speak for gun owners, saying something different, we need to go to the source and reach out to people directly. >> the political realities that the president faces in congress were made stark when here on msnbc, the president's host, minneapolis mayor slammed harry reid for saying he hadn't read dianne feinstein's bill banning assault weapons. >> how can harry reid, a fellow democrat, and i'm willing to criticize him, say he hasn't read the bill. this is an emergency. let's knock off the washington baloney and support the president and get some things done. >> the white house wants to overload washington's political circuits. an effort to see what it can get through congress without letting congress and particularly congressional republicans, define what issues get addressed. republican leaders are making it clear they prefer to talk about just one thing before the march budget shutdown. >> this was supposed to be the day that the president submitted
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his budget to the congress. but it's not coming. i think that's too bad. our economy could use some presidential leadership right now. >> and top senate republican mitch mcconnell was just as eager to talk budget hitting the floor to slam democrats for floating new revenue proposals. >> this is just another opportunity to trot out the democrat focus group approved policy stunt. if this is another fake fight designed by the white house to push us to the brink, then republicans are really not interested in playing along. >> now to the big nbc news exclusive we told you about at the top. a 16-page white paper that has been secret until now. obama administration lawyers argued that it is legal to kill a u.s. citizen if, quote, informed and -- an informed high level official decides that target was a ranking figure in an al qaeda or an associated group with -- who posed an imminent threat of violent
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attack against the united states. the question isn't academic. such a strike has taken place. took place in yemen, september 2011, killing an alleged al qaeda operative anwar al awlaki and samir kahn. both were american citizens who had not been indicted by the u.s. government or technically charged with any crimes. this undated white paper, which was provided to members of the senate intelligence and judiciary committees last june on the condition it be kept confidential is not classified. it's been cloaked in secrecy along with the legal memo it's derived from referred to only obliquely in this white paper memo like at this hearing in march of last year. >> i still want to see the office of legal council memorandum and order you to keep working on that. i realize it's a matter some of debate within the
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administration, but. >> that would be true. >> with cia nominee john brennan's confirmation hearing set for thursday, the pressure on the administration to be more transparent will only increase. in the last year, the administration officials have given several speeches that were designed to give the illusion of transparency on this issue by the use of force in targeted killings without being fully transparent. brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge the drone strikes calling them, quote, ethical and just in a speech at the wilson center last year. >> it is hard to imagine a tool that can better minimize the risk to civilians than remotely piloted aircraft. for the same reason, targeted strikes conform the principle of humanity which requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering. >> and at a speech last march at northwestern university law school, attorney general eric holder said the targeted killings of americans are
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constitutional if government officials determine the target poses an imminent threat of violent attacks. familiar words from that white paper. >> some have called such operations assassinations. they are not. and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. it is spirely lawful under both united states law and applicable law of war principles to target -- to target specific senior operational leaders of al qaeda and associated forces. >> now advocates for civil liberties have been unsettled by how broadly imminent attack appears to be defined. according to this white paper, for instance, quote, the condition that an operational leader presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the united states does not require the united states to have clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future. in addition to the suspect being
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an imminent threat, capture of the target must be infeasible, according to the memo. but what exactly that means is left largely undefined. expect these questions to come up at brennan's confirmation hearing. whether we get to see it in the public. congress has been surprise league silent on this. very few members have demanded more transparency or oversight. even leon panetta said that's going to have to change. >> the transparency on this is very limited and does that mean a change and more oversight for congress to step in? >> i think the way to do it is in title ten operations, so-called title ten operations, military operations, i think a lot more of this can be put under title ten and that on title 50 we always ought to have that capability to use a covert effort if we have to. >> but very limited. >> i would limit that.
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>> ahead of brennan's hearings, eight democratic and three republican senators have written to president obama asking for the actual legal opinions themselves authorizing the killing of americans from that letter. "so that congress and the public can decide whether this authority has been properly defined and whether the president's pow twoer deliberately kill american citizens is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguard." three members of the intelligence committee signed the letter. ron wyden, udall and susan collins. michael isikoff obtained the controversial memo that concludes the united states government can order the killing of american citizens. he broke this story on nbcnews.com and joins me now. so, michael, this has been -- this has been a debate inside the administration for a while to ever go public with this or not. we know the president himself, when he was a candidate, was very critical of the bush administration when they were hiding legal opinions, having to
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do with detainees and torture and things like that. >> as were a lot of democrats. in fact, the release of the so-called torture memos was one of the democratic refrains for years during the latter years of the bush administration. and you look at this memo, which is an obama administration memo. first of all, you read it in its entirety. people can go on dotcom. it's really hard to see anything there that's -- that relates to operational security. it's not classified. it's purely legal arguments. so why has it taken until now for us to get a copy of it and let the public read it? >> we know for sure the memo was written by the justice department. we assume inside the olc, the office of legal counsel. that's what we believe. >> the sequence of events, as i understand them is this. members of congress, pat leahy, others, were demanding to see the olc memos on targeted killing of americans. >> jane harman who was in the
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house intelligence committee saying she was stunned more hadn't been demanding this. say they'd asked during the bush years for olc memos. >> democrats were not nearly as loud on this subject as they were during the bush years, but they were asking for them. and so what the justice department did was say, okay, we're not going to give you the olc memos because we're not going to release those, but we'll give you this 16-page white paper that reflects and tracks the analysis of the olc memos. and that's the document that we got. now they gave -- they turned that over to the committee under the rule it be committee confidential and not be discussed publicly. so for the last six months you have not heard one word about the analysis that is in this memo. >> if the olc memos can't be seen by house and senate intelligence committees, they deal with classified information
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all the time. as much as we want to say congress leaks all the time, these people don't leak. and the administration refuses to show them these? who sees these memos? >> well, is it basically three or four people total. >> authoritative legal adviser to the executive branch to the president. so there's a small -- >> nobody in the legislative branch and nobody in the judicial branch sees these memos? >> the most transparent administration in history has taken the position that this is confidential legal advice for the president and nobody else can see it. but look. let's talk about the substance. you reflected on that. and i think that's where the real news here is. we've had these public speeches by holder saying, okay. there's a three-set test. the first test is imminent evidence of imminent -- violent attack on the united states. then you go into this white paper memo and you see how they are defining imminent attack and
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they talk about what they refer to, the striking phrase of broader concept of imminence than having active intelligence that a plot is under way. >> who determines imminent threat? >> a high level informed official, according to this memo. that could be the president. that could be the cia director. could be john brennan who has been the architect of the drone campaign. >> that's very subjective. >> but clearly there's a lot of latitude there for people who to make decisions about who they want to go -- which american citizens they want to go after and which they don't. >> talking about stretching the actual framework of american law and the constitution. that's going to spark a hearty debate, i imagine, when john brennan meets his conversation. mike isikoff, i have a feeling you'll have a very busy day having to explain on air what you did off air last night in breaking that story. thank you, sir. >> thank you. up next, a republican party at a crossroads. get it?
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grand old problem. is party purity more important than winning elections. we have one of the men running karl rove's new push to push candidates who can win. first, a look ahead at today's politics planner. as you can see, the vice president is in the uk today meeting with prime minister cameron, among others. nick clegg as well. president obama. the big eric cantor speech. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move
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one of the biggest political
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stories of 2013 will be how the republican party reinvents itself. and where the tea party fits in. some veteran republicans believe that tea party conservatives cost the party as many as five senate seats over the last two cycles by getting into general election races they couldn't win. now a new group led by karl rove is vowing to take on tea party candidates to either defeat them or bring them into the mainstream. with me is steven law who is leading the conservative victory project and chris chicola, former indiana congressman and president of the club for growth which opposes mr. rove's new effort. welcome, gentlemen. you guys have promised to not physically engage. just verbally. >> come on. >> just verbal strikes. why do you believe this is necessary, and what makes your track record at american crossroads, which wasn't great in 2012 -- >> sure. >> -- one that's worthy of following to bring the republican party back into the majority in the u.s. senate? >> chuck, we invested over $30
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million between 2010 and 2012 in very conservative tea party backed candidates. some of them are great. rubio, rand paul, pat toomey. some were disastrous. todd akin, david murdock and sharron angle. we need to evaluate everything we did. but it also includes, i think, focusing more on quality candidate selection to make sure that we've got really, really good candidates who can win in elections and that we can effectively back when we get into general elections. >> chris, one of the chief complaints i hear from people like steve having to do with the club for growth is that you guys get involved in a primary and then you don't get involved and you walk away. when you win you don't do as much that can be done in a general election. >> facts matter. and the fact is in seven election cycles, 14 years, the club for growth has backed two candidates in contested primaries that became the nominee. so they won the primary, that didn't become members of
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congress. two in 14 years. >> who are those two? >> richard mourdock and sharron angle. everyone else we've endorsed in a primary. in a contested primary that they won, they became members of congress. so we think that's a record that, you know, not too troubling. and the question really isn't why did richard mourdock and todd akin lose. we know why. the question is why did tommy thompson, rick burg, denny rehberg why did they lose? they were establishment backed kind of clear the field type of candidates so they can just win these races. it's not the obvious loss. it's nobody has to question why should all these establishment candidates lose. >> respond. >> sure, i think chris raises a good point. the issue of candidate quality is not an ideological one. it's not because we're necessarily nominating candidates who are too conservati conservative. we're nominating those who don't have the discipline or fund-raising drive or a lot of other things they need to effectively compete against a very good democrat candidate.
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>> what's going tor your criteria to get into a primary? >> our first goal will be to focus on candidate vetting. to take a good, deep look at how they performed as candidates in the past. the things they've said and accomplished and their ability to build a broad based network of support inside the state. our hope is we can build a consensus among groups like ours that there's a particular candidate who is the best conservative who can win that race and we ought to support. if there's a difference of opinion, at some point we'll have to weigh in and decide whether we weigh in. that will be a complex question. >> the big disagreement i get, though, from the different groups is you are in a process. you are thinking process. you are thinking who can win. and you are looking at candidates that align with you on specific issues. >> we think principles matter. core beliefs matter and we think the voters notice. >> how do you square this? because you can -- do you ever not back a candidate -- have you ever made the decision not to back a candidate, sfrn they were with you on all the issues but you saw, boy, they could really blow it.
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>> i think our record proves that that is the case. we think -- >> you've walked away from candidates who were with you on everything, against a flaw of somebody you didn't really think was going to be a too centrist or somebody that wasn't going to be with you but you walked away from that race? >> we picked underdogs a lot when we endorsed marco rubio and ted cruz. he was 3% in the polls. but we thing core principles matter. when you have a candidate that can deliver a clear articulate, convincing economic conservative message, they can win anywhere. pat toomey can win in pennsylvania. marco rubio can win in a state like florida. we think principle matters. we don't thing buckley rule that people want to kind of hide behind by saying that most conservative person that wins. well, who decides that? you can't pick candidates. you can support candidates. the voters pick the candidates that are -- >> how can you -- how can you pick? >> i think there's a little distinction here and that is that, obviously, principles are the most important thing. but there are also other ingredients that go into making an effective candidate.
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richard mourdock had impeccable conservative credentials. >> he won statewide. >> he had. >> what made him a flop? >> he had a record of lack of discipline in the things he said. coming out of the gate saying i like politics because it allows me to inflict my opinion on other people was something a lot of people found offensive. we tested that with focus groups and found people didn't like it. republicans didn't like it. and it suggested a verbal-style in a way of communicating that wasn't -- >> but you didn't get involved in that race. >> we didn't get involved. >> why? >> we didn't get involved in the primary. >> because it was our policy not to get involved in primaries. we invested $6 million to get him over the finish line. one thing that this shows susthat it is possible to lose even in a very, very comfortably red state when you have a candidate on our side who is flawed and they can put somebody -- >> first place you guys could clash may be the state of iowa. are there candidates there that you could not support in the
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republican primary? tom latham, steve king. is this a place where you guys expect to be clashing? >> i don't know. there are no candidates yet. nobody has decided they're going to run. tom latham has a less than stellar score with us on economic issues. and, you know, steve king ran a very disciplined race in a very competitive race in 2012 against vilsack who was well funded. so i think we have to look at what the candidate field is and the relative difference between the candidate. shngets that matter as you are vetting in this race. you look at steve king and think he's not electable statewide and yet he beat vilsack and democrats were following him around with video cameras hoping to catch him in a todd akin moment, and they never did. >> we put $400,000 into that race in support of him this last go around. but i think the question i was raising in "the new york times" piece was simply that candidate vetting, what people say, what
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they have done, what they might do in the future has got to be an ingredient in deciding who you are going to support down the road. >> we vet candidates all day every day. that's what we do. we try to find people that have core beliefs that will take those beliefs to washington and articulate them to the voters. campaigns are about the battle of ideas. a candidate with good ideas. they can articulate them and win anywhere. >> thank you both for doing this. a very civil discussion. >> thanks a lot. >> appreciate it. up next issue senator bob menendez tries again to make those prostitution allegations go away. plus, new jersey governor chris christie shares some laughs and a doughnut with david letterman. and closing in on confirmation. chuck hagel moves a step closer to becoming the next secretary of defense. name the one cabinet nominee who was rejected by the senate twice. tweet me an answer @chucktodd or @dailyrundown.
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on a radar, senator john mccain says he will not block an up or down vote on chuck hagel. and governor chris christie gives a little sweet talk monday night. first, senator bob menendez forcefully denied allegations he had any contact with prostitutes during trips to the dominican republic with a wealthy donor. >> the smears -- the smears that right wing blogs have been pushing since the election and that is totally unsubstantiated. it's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that type of story into the mainstream. the bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false and, you know, that's the bottom
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line. >> republican senator john mccain, a sharp critic of chuck hagel's nomination as defense secretary, said he will not support a filibuster of his former colleague saying he doesn't believe the procedural move is appropriate. mccain joins four other senate republicans who have voiced opposition to a filibuster including susan collins, roy blunt, lamar alexander and richard burr. and that doesn't include thad cochran and mike johanns who plan to support him. chris christie made his first appearance on david letterman last night. christie has been the butt of many of letterman's jokes. he showed he wasn't afraid to have a little fun with it. >> i love you, dave. no, a love that i have a difficult time really explaining. a deep and abiding love. >> now we have a real problem. but i have made jokes about you, not just one or two. not just ongoing here and there. intermittent. but --
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>> i didn't know this was going to be this long. >> up next, the deep dive into the man now in the middle of middle east politics. what israel's new political rock star could mean for the peace process. you're watching "the daily rundown" on msnbc. citracal slow release continuously releases calcium plus d with efficient absorption in one daily dose. citracal slow release. or treat gas with these after you get it.
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what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. prime minister benjamin netanyahu is still in charge but he may no longer be israel's most consequential pligss. we're taking a deep dive into the new face of israeli politics. his name is yair lapid. he is a former tv personality turned politician who came out of nowhere to deal israeli conservatives a surprising setback in last month's
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election. lapid's centrist party is second with 19. and it's not just about the numbers. it's about expectations. and by that measure, lapid won easily. the 49-year-old capitalized on his charisma and national reputation to gain traction on the political stage. he opted to put issues that have typically defined israeli centrists on the back burner. namely, the issue of settlements and middle east peace. lapid made himself the champion of the middle class, campaigning for lower taxes and against the military exexemption for ultra orthodox jews. for many people i would listen to political messages and think they didn't understand me or my needs, and then he came along. but not everyone is convinced. "the new york times" quoted israeli historian tom zageb as saying voters who chose lapid voted for nothing but a tv image. lapid has gone from political newcomer to potential kingmaker in less than a year. how will he use his power?
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will he remain a working class hero, claim a mand teet revive peace talks or start building the kind of political resume that could knock off netanyahu himself the next time around. no matter what lapid does, he's already changed the face of political campaigns in israel because he ended up using grassroots support, voter outreach and internet campaign and he turned it into a potentially winning formula. mark mehlman was lapid's personal pollster. many of you know mark from his work for john kerry and a lot of other democratic campaigns on this side -- on this time zone. but you did some work for lapid. >> thank you. >> you've done some work in israel before. what made this israeli election different from other ones that you've worked in in? >> usually security issues are at the center of israeli elections. for a number of reasons in this election, security issues weren't the central topic of discussion. they weren't the central focus of voters. there was a real rising of the middle class, a concern about economic issues.
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>> where is -- >> the economy is pretty good compared to the united states, but there are a lot of people who are concerned about the cost of living, how the -- the cost of housing is very high, the cost of electricity. other elements of daily life very high. also concern about sharing the burden. ultra orthodox -- members of the ultra orthodox community don't serve in the army and don't really particinate the economy. that's something that's a unique issue for israel. not relevant to the united states. that's something the middle class in israel, the ordinary folks who send their kids to the army, pay taxes, who work have real concerns about. >> sounds like you were giving advice to a democratic candidate, say, that was maybe too involved in special interests and telling them, hey stop deal with constituency groups. try dealing with what are people talking about every day. did you do focus groups? is that what you found out? >> we did focus groups, polling. we had a candidate who came with his own strong views. here's a journalist, not just a tv personality. he was a columnist.
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he'd written about thyself issuissue these issues for many years. >> so what is he going to do here? i hate to say, i have no idea what happened to the opposition. you know, when people say, what is the leading opposition party in israel to netanyahu, i sit there and say, well, it's not really labor. there was that other thing that they came up with for a while that seemed to have disappeared. >> it's not clear who is the opposition yet. >> they are still trying to figure that out. >> the stage is putting together a government. it's up to the prime minister to form that government. he's consulting with all the parties, including lapid's party on what kind of form he's going to put together. he faces a fundamental choice. he can put together a fairly narrow coalition mainly on the right side of the spectrum in terms of security issues and doesn't really contain folks who are focused on these middle class issues, or he can go in a more centrist direction, include lapid --
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>> does lapid want in? >> i think lapid has made clear conditions for his entry. for example, he won't join a coalition that doesn't agree to draft national service for the ultra orthodox community. a few conditions that have to be met. his goal is to make a difference for the public. you do that on the inside if you can. if the government is not willing to accept his conditions, he won't thereby. >> was this the first -- and what sparked me to want to do this. i read your column. you said you did this in a nontraditional way for israeli politics. social media and all that. is that, do you think you broke some ground here that that now will become the norm? >> it increasingly will become the norm. >> i'll be honest. i'm surprised it wasn't sooner in israel. it's a very wired country. >> it is a very wired country. they don't get as much practice as we do. the last election was four years ago. the reality is that the campaign finance limits in israel are very strick ft for a new party. this was a new party.
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only got seven minutes of tv time. you can't buy tv time. the government gives you tv time. you can't spend much money. we were forced to use these other media. >> next time you'll get treated more like a mainstream party? >> exactly. >> mark mehlmamehlmanmellman, t. our white house soup of the day, split pea. it's one of my favorite but, honestly, keep the ham out. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! your financial advisor should focus on your long-term goals, not their short-term agenda. [ woman ] if you have the nerve to believe that cookie cutters should be for cookies, not your investment strategy.
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the republican charm offensive continues today as house majority leader eric cantor is set to give a policy speech that will talk about issues that don't have to do with the budget. immigration, education, health care. cantor is joining a growing list of republicans who are trying to rebrand the party. >> we have not explained why we
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take the positions that we do. and i think that's one of the lessons learned from this past election. i think that where we have a lot of room to grow as a party, as conservatives is to explain again why we're for the kind of fiscal discipline that we're for. what is the reality and how are we going to help people? >> we had to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty. how our ideas are better at solving health care. how our ideas are better at solving the problems people are experiencing in their daily lives. >> we have to get the republican party back on track. we do that by winning the argument of ideas. >> let's bring in our tuesday gaggle. perry bacon jr., solinda lake and john feehery. john, i'll start with you. this is, i assume, you like hearing the words you are hearing from whether it's eric cantor, paul ryan or what we used there with bobby jindal. the question is, how does the republican party turn words into
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actions of trying to become persuaders? >> i think they have to channel their inner jack kemp. they have to think about, how do we get off the fiscal discipline message, which is really a bob dole message and get into an economic growth message. how do we lift all boats? jack kennedy and jack kemp. that's important for republicans. they can't just talk about how to cut spending. talk about why their policies are going to help people get back to work and get more flexibility in their lives and how it's an impediment to their daily lives. voters understand that but our party is characterized by the fiscal stuff and the social stuff. and there ain't -- they are not able to get beyond that conversation. >> it goes -- solinda, before we started you said, boy, this looks like the democrats -- and i say democrats in the '80s. this is what happens when parties lose. they start realizing, wait, did we become defined by what we aren't rather than what we're for. >> and also, i think they are trying to reposition by who they lost. so if you think about this education, health care, work place --
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>> so people they lost in the constituents you are saying? >> right. this is all -- rebranding is all targeted for women. what they can't control, this is their rhetoric. but what do they pass in state legislatures? unconstitutional bills on abortion in arkansas. so this doesn't work because their actions belie their words. >> perriche that's the trick here. i think john would sit there and say, i wish those state legislatures weren't passing that legislation. >> the eric cantor republican would say that as well. it's really hard when you are the house majority leader to change the whole party. this is his -- >> cantor 4.0. >> in terms of trying to rebrand the party. it has to come from whoever the 2016 candidate is. house republicans are divided among themselves. it's hard for paul ryan or bobby jindal or a candidate to start rebranding themselves until there's a can indict who can redefine compassionate conservatism. >> n these fights are going to take place. i just had two guys on who are going to be leading the two
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different wings of the party and these fights are going to break out in the open. you think this is something that has to happen? >> you have to litigate between the tea party wing who wants no government and then the more establishment wing that says there is a role for government. we can't get rid of all of them. just have to make it work better. >> arkansas was an embarrassment but the fact of the matter is on the state level, this is where this rebranding is going to happen because you have governors like bob mcdonnell who is a superstar. john kasich who has some tough poll ratings but he's been successful. mitch daniels and mike pence. these guys are governing. that's important. if you govern and show the voters you can govern, people like your brand better. >> how should democrats be responding? republicans are -- they are trying to reposition themselves. there's going to be two ways. the white house, should they be reaching out and in some ways helping them saying, okay, let's see if we work together on immigration or things like this or do you go for the political kill? >> i think what you do first of all is you take your point which is you govern you. lay it out there and you lay out
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mainstream policies that 80% of americans support. i mean, the immigration reform agenda, the gun control agenda. the -- if you want real family flexibility, then you talk about paid family and medical leave which just had its anniversary yesterday. so you govern you. lay out real agendas and call their bluff then. the thing amazing about the house republicans and the difficulty they have, the leadership can't even deliver the votes. the senators produce the tax vote and boehner can't produce his caucus. you call their bluff and say, okay. we agree with you. let's go pass this stuff. it won't happen. >> in a political way, having eric cantor go out there and be out front on this. john boehner has to be thinking, i don't have to look over my shoulder and see if this guy is going to knife me as a tea party guy. >> you have paul ryan saying a few things. that's the big challenge here is the paul ryanism is what we're talking about here and jindal and now cantor are saying this obsession with government spending about reforming these
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policies, probably not the best idea. we need to focus more on -- and the love of paul rye san getting in the way of that. >> who is the leader of the republican party in when someone asks that, what do you say? >> john boehner as the speaker. >> technical leader. >> he is the leader right now. he's the only guy who has power in washington. >> all right. stick around. i want to talk about our breaking news that we have on this network having to do with those memos from the justice department. eric holder, we're going to be hearing from him. we'll talk to you guys about that in a you guys about that i minute. trivia time. we asked, name the one cabinet nominee who was hated so nice they rejected him twice in the united states senate. the question is charles b. warren. coolidge's nominee to run the justice department. he failed the first time, coolidge nominated him again the same week, and he failed again by an even wider margin. if you have a trivia question for us, e-mail us at
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dailyrundown@msnbc.com. we'll be right back. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back with great ideas like our optional better car replacement. if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. call... and ask one of our insurance experts about it today.
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attorney general eric holder makes his first public appearance since nbc exclusively obtained a justice department memo on drone strike and authority to kill americans that are top al qaeda leaders. he's scheduled to hold a press conference on financial fraud at 11:15 eastern today. a bunch of reporters are going to be there and we're going to guess that the questions he gets has something to do with the s&p lawsuit, but something to do with this memo. let's bring back our gaggle. celinda, you do a lot of polling. the public doesn't -- in the same way democrats made a big deal about the torture memos and the legal justification that the bush administration said they had, didn't release publicly, and it became a debate. this is the legal justification that the obama administration says it has to use these drone
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attacks to potentially target american citizens. why doesn't the public care? >> two things. first of all, they're worried about what's happening in the economy and their kitchen tables. and the second thing is, it makes them feel safe. and the contingency that particularly doesn't care that's usually the whistle-blowers, are women voters who are made to feel more safe on this stuff. >> congress has been particularly not loud about these things. why? >> there are very few constitutional scholars in the american public -- >> and fewer in congress or what? >> i think what politicians understand that people do want to feel safe. and they have kind of explicitly said, go for it. and i think it's very troubling. i think it's very troubling, what's going on. >> i would also add, republicans support this policy because they support these kind of measures. and democrats are not going to cite size president obama for it. if george bush used drones in the same way, we would have a different conversation. >> it's straight politics. all right, shameless plugs, go. >> i went to earl high school
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yesterday. shout-out to those students. >> i want to point out everybody as the article of janet napolitano as an outstanding woman in the administration who doesn't get enough exposure. >> and headed for a run for the white house if hillary doesn't win? >> i think she could be. >> every saturday, listen to sirius xm radio. a great thing to listen to if you care about politics. >> very nice. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." i'll see you tomorrow from chicago. i'm moderating a panel tonight at the university of chicago, four leaders from the romney campaign, four leaders from the obama campaign. axelrod, fernstrom, messina, all those guys. we'll talk about how they reform the 2016 presidential campaign. coming up next, chris jansing. bye-bye. here's a look at your business travel forecast. i'm meteorologist bill karins.
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as far as travel trouble goes today, we had some early morning snow in areas of new york city through southern new england. i don't think it's going to cause many problems at the airports. chicago, same for you and some snow showers. but there's some great weather out there. considering this is still the heart of winter, we'll be very warm through the rockies. west coast looks great. light rain along the gulf coast. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel,
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